Honors Class Notes (Fall 2011 eNewsletter)


Holley (Hewitt) Ulbrich ’63 just published the second edition of her textbook, Public Finance in Theory and Practice, with Routledge Publishing. This is her ninth published book. Holley is Alumni Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics at Clemson University. Billie (Bill) DeWalt ’69 left the University of Pittsburgh as Distinguished Service Professor of Public and International Affairs in 2007 to serve as Founding President and Director of the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Ariz. MIM opened on April 24, 2010, and has been recognized as one of the outstanding museums of the world.


Michael Bernstein ’78 graduated from UConn’s Medical School in 1982 and did a residency in otolaryngology at UConn and affiliated hospitals. He has been in private practice for 24 years in Enfield, CT. He married Dr. Beverly Rivers in December 2011, and is the father of Aaron (UConn alumnus) and Lauren (Emerson College alumna). Jane Presnick-Lyon ’78 married David B. Lyon. They have four sons: two are UConn grads, one is a UConn junior, and one is in high school. Jane has worked at Waterbury Hospital and MidState Medical Center, and is now Nursing Supervisor for the UConn Health Center. Howard Sandler ’78 was named Ronald H. Bloom Family Chair in Cancer Therapeutics and Chairman for the Department of Radiation Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 2008. James Tierney ’79 spent a decade working in Silicon Valley and then for the European Commission in Luxembourg. He earned an MBA at Yale. He was Director of Test at Microsoft until 2001 and has recently been running a live theatre near Seattle. As President of the Intentional Democratic Community IDC at UConn, he helped organize reunions in Connecticut and California.


Ann (Dorris) Wanner ’81 is married with three children, ages 21, 19, and 15. She has been practicing allergy/immunology at The Everett Clinic for 19 years. She was named by her peers a top doctor for 2011 in Seattle Magazine and listed in the top 1 percent of physicians nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. Susan (Koch) Renner ’82 serves as the CFO and Treasurer of American Cruise Lines. A mother of four (including a UConn junior), she also sits on the Guilford Board of Education and its finance subcommittee. Nathaniel Yordon ’83 is President of the Board of the Open Door Shelter in Norwalk, CT, which provides life and job support to individuals and families. He is treasurer for an affordable housing organization, Mutual Housing Association of Southwestern Connecticut, which develops and manages hundreds of housing units. Nathaniel is also a Partner in Capossela, Cohen, LLC, a CPA firm in Fairfield, CT. Carolyn (Goulet) Vanacore ’84 is completing coursework for her second Sixth Year Professional Diploma. She is a graduate student in educational leadership at SCSU, expecting her certification in administration this spring. Carolyn was a previous recipient of the Connecticut School Counselor Association’s Middle School Counselor of the Year award. She lives in Guilford with her husband, Mark, and children, Megan and C.J. Betsy Sleath ’88 has recently become the George H. Cocolas Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Julie (O’Brien) Coiro ’89 taught special education for nine years before pursuing her Ph.D. in educational psychology at UConn. She is now an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island’s School of Education. Her research focuses on new literacies of the Internet and effective practices for technology integration and professional development


Phil Ventimiglia ’92 started a new adventure with his family this August in Hyderabad, India. He is currently serving an expat assignment as Vice President and General Manager of NCR’s India Development Center. Phil reports it has been Honors Program Alumni University of Connecticut a great experience and they are looking forward to exploring more of India. Jennifer (Morel) Anderson ’95 practiced marriage and family therapy for 12 years and then completed the ARC program in 2010. She is certified as a 7-12 social studies teacher, and currently teaches sociology, psychology, and U.S. history. Her previous career experience in therapy gives her students access to real world information as they explore the fields of psychology and sociology. Donna Roy ’96 moved to Boston to pursue an M.P.H., followed by medical school in Philadelphia. She completed her residency at Tufts Medical Center, and has worked at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Donna is now a physician for a public health hospital in Boston and an assistant professor of medicine at Tufts Medical School. Jodi (Zils) Gagne ’97 is self employed as an attorney in Bristol, CT, specializing in criminal defense. She is happily married and has two wonderful children. Jodi’s daughter, Carson, is 5 and just started kindergarten. Her son, Damon, is 3 and just started preschool. Hynes Birmingham ’98 obtained both his M.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut. He is currently an emergency medicine physician practicing within the state. He is also involved in several community outreach programs. Hynes is married to Danielle and together they have three children. Kate (Kotsaftis) Simon ’98 graduated from UConn’s Law School in 2001, and is an attorney with Bingham McCutchen in Hartford, CT. She lives in West Hartford, CT, with her husband, Jeff ’99, and her two children. Robb D’Ambruoso ’99 recently co-founded D’Ambruoso & Freed LLP with fellow UConn alumnus Jared Freed. D’Ambruoso & Freed LLP (www.dambruosofreed.com) is a boutique law firm based in downtown Boston representing individuals and businesses in connection with their corporate, real estate, and estate planning needs. Robb also married Ellen Coghlan in May 2011 on Cape Cod.


Matthew Berberich ’00 was a lab technician at Yale for five years while completing a master’s degree in biology at SCSU. He then earned a master’s degree in pharmacology at NYU. He conducted research at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland before returning to Yale. Matthew works in the physiology department using proteomics to advance knowledge of hypertension. Courtney Gaine ’00 became Director of the Project on Nutrition and Wellness at the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution in DC this September. It is a non-profit organization that employs dialogue and consensus-building to forge enduring solutions for important public policy issues when disagreement and division stand in the way of progress. Kate Farrar ’01 completed the executive fellowship program with the Center for Progressive Leadership and was chosen as a part of the inaugural class of 22 leaders. Meghan Wilkosz ’01 and her husband, Louis Edouard, welcomed their first child on September 13, 2011. Their daughter’s name is Lilianna Halle Edouard. Christopher Hattayer ’02 finished a tour in September as a watch officer in the U.S. Department of State’s Operations Center and began working as a desk officer in the department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs. Nicole (Reilly) Hill ’02 graduated in May 2011 with a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH. On August 27, 2011, she married Aaron Hill in Old Saybrook, CT, during Hurricane Irene. Danielle Hebert ’03 has been working at the Animal Rescue League of NH since January 2006. This year she was promoted to Director of Adoptions. Her main roles are overseeing the adoption process and the adoption counselors at the shelter and managing all related programs, promotions, and customer services. Mike Johnson ’03 completed clinical research at the UConn Health Center before entering UConn’s School of Medicine in 2004. He was matched into a radiology residency program at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven. Mike was married in 2010 and purchased a home with his wife in Southington, CT. They are expecting a child in March 2012. Leigh (Moulis) Neumon ’03 and her husband, Ben, have a two-year-old daughter, Claire. Leigh teaches chemistry and forensic science at Cromwell High School. Niamh O’Leary ’03 received her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Penn State University, and has been an Assistant Professor of English at Xavier University since August 2010. At Xavier, she teaches Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, and rhetoric; advises several student clubs; runs workshops for the theatre students; and teaches in the study abroad program in London. Ronald Pepino ’03 received a Ph.D. in theoretical atomic physics last August at JILA and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Rebecca Schuetz ’03 is currently Assistant Technical Director for Syracuse Stage, the regional professional theatre in Syracuse, and Technical Director and adjunct faculty for the Department of Drama at Syracuse University. Rebecca also recently had an original watercolor selected for the “On My Own Time” exhibit displayed at the Everson Museum of Art. Mike Vuolo ’03 began a tenure-track assistant professor position in the Department of Sociology at Purdue University in August 2011 after completing a Ph.D. in sociology, M.S. in statistics, and MS in mathematics at the University of Minnesota. Jeffrey Gusenburg ’04 earned his M.D. from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in 2010 and completed a transitional year residency program with Tufts Medical Center at Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital in Brockton, MA. He is currently a radiology resident at Boston Medical Center. Jeffrey and his wife, Lindsey, are the proud parents of two dogs, Icky and Sammy. Julia (Adams) Rosenfield ’04 worked in advertising for six years in New York City. Her clients included Discovery Communications, Kohl’s, and Verizon Wireless. She earned her M.B.A. from New York University in 2010. Julia returned to Connecticut last year, and now works at Aetna as the Advertising Manager, leading all corporate advertising campaigns for the organization. David R. Agrawal ’05 was awarded the 2011 Peggy and Richard Musgrave Prize for his paper, The Tax Gradient: Do Local Sales Taxes Reduce Tax Differentials at State Borders?. The award is given annually for the best paper by an author under the age of 40 at the Congress of the International Institute of Public Finance. Megan Bowers ’05 completed her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Brown University in May 2010 and is now a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. Alison Laufer ’05 just graduated from Yale with a Ph.D. in epidemiology of microbial diseases. She accepted a position in the Epidemic Intelligence Service as a U.S. Public Health Service lieutenant at the CDC. Alison works with foodborne and waterborne diseases in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. She is also a triathlete on the Atlanta Dynamo Multisport team. Kelly Purtell ’05 received a Ph.D. in 2010 in developmental psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Maria (Saporito) Dover ’06 completed her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at East Carolina University. She then relocated to Durham, NC, after getting married in 2010. Maria is now the clinical coordinator for a federal grant awarded to North Carolina aimed at improving the quality of care for children and youth with special health needs. Stephen Napier ’06 joined the law firm of Blair & Potts in Stamford, CT, this spring as an associate attorney. Stephen Barry ’07 married Honors graduate Kelly (Messer) Barry. Stephen received his J.D. from William & Mary School of Law in 2011, and is serving an appointment as Law Clerk to the Honorable Henry E. Hudson, U.S. District Judge (Eastern District of Virginia). Next fall, he will start as an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins, LLP. Matt Comer ’07 is a fifth-year applied mathematics Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University, studying symbolic computation with Professor Erich Kaltofen. His first two years at NCSU were spent earning a Master of Science degree in mathematics. Since the beginning of his second year, Matt has taught eight courses at NCSU, varying between pre-calculus, calculus I, and calculus II. Sarah (Hooker) Kelly ’07 married John Kelly on June 25, 2011. They plan to reside in Arlington, VA, in the summer of 2012. Paul Millerd ’07 is in his second year of the Leaders for Global Operations program at MIT. He is pursuing an M.B.A. from the Sloan School of Management and a master’s in systems engineering from the School of Engineering. Alison Rossi ’07 began a new position in October 2011 as an analyst at The Nielsen Company in Stamford, CT. Michael Brown ’08 graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in May 2011 and recently accepted a legal fellow position in the National Education Association’s Office of General Counsel. Andres Feijoo ’08 is pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and serving as a graduate assistant conducting background research for a local public affairs television program. He plans to concentrate on international security and economic policy, and hopes to represent U.S. interests in the international community. Melissa Kitch ’08 attained her certified public accountant (CPA) license in the State of Connecticut. She is currently employed by Deloitte & Touche LLP as an audit senior in Audit and Enterprise Risk Services. Dan Rousseau ’08 is the lighting director for “Anderson Cooper 360,” “Piers Morgan Tonight,” “Showbiz Tonight,” and assorted other specials at the CNN NYC studios. He is also the director of operations for Fifth Letter Productions and a freelance lighting designer on additional projects. Carrie-Ellen (Flanagan) Briere ’09 married Don Briere ’07 in June 2011. Megan Wolf ’09 is a third-year medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is specializing in sports medicine and will graduate in 2013 with her M.D.


Samantha Jones ’10 presented a paper in April titled “Masking, Gender, and Identity Construction in Perceptions of Irish Step Dancing” at the 2011 Northeast Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology conference. In August, she was hired by Boston University’s Educational Resource Center as an ESL writing fellow, providing individual writing assistance and weekly workshops on grammar-related topics to ESL learners. Grzegorz Rdzak ’10 received a Merck Award for academic excellence and is a pharmacist in Stamford, CT. He is on the board of directors for three nursing organizations. Grzegorz also teaches lectures to emergency medical technicians at Stamford Hospital and is a certified medication therapy management provider. In November, he was keynote speaker for UConn’s P1 Professionalism Ceremony. Alexandra Sehulster ’10 took a six-week course in book and magazine publishing at New York University and then joined Macmillan Publishers, an international company devoted to publishing fiction, non-fiction, and textbooks. She is employed in the sales department, working with retailers that provide books to consumers without easy access to traditional book stores. Kaitlin Heenehan ’11 is at Virginia Tech for her master’s in higher education administration. She enjoys living in Blacksburg, VA, and finds her program challenging (in a good way).

Return to the Fall 2011 issue of the Honors Alumni eNewsletter